This post has been sponsored by PAPYRUS®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you have every received a birthday card, Christmas card, or Mother’s Day card from me (hey, Ma!), it has probably come from Papyrus! I could spend hours browsing Papyrus cards because they are all so pretty! This year, I did something a little different with my Christmas cards….I used them as party invitations! You know I LOVE hosting events and get togethers, and there’s something special about receiving a paper invitation in the mail.
So this year, for my annual cookie decorating and hot chocolate night, I decided to use a festive (read: sparkly!) Papyrus Christmas card to serve as my invitation. Now you can find Papyrus cards at Target on the main aisle, so I saw them right away and stopped to browse. I knew that I wanted to use one design for the invitations, but thennn I ended up buying a few others just for fun! It’s so hard to choose! I like to set the mood of a party with my invitations, and for my cookie decorating and hot chocolate night, there are only a few gals invited so I knew that I could go all out with fancy invitations from Papyrus!
I always enjoy sitting down to spend time to write cards, craft, and create, so I raided my craft closet and pulled out my stamps! I love using stamps to personalize gift tags and packages, and thought it would be a fun way to turn a Christmas card into a party invitation. Of course I have a metallic ink pad. ;)
I stamped “You’re Invited” at the top of the left side of the card and included party details below! Since this is an annual event, the girls already know most of the basic information so I didn’t need to write too much. You could also stamp “who” “what” “where” to turn your card into an invitation and share more information. If you're sending a festive or themed invitation, it's always a fun touch to use on-theme stamps! I waited in line at the Post Office for 30 minutes for these adorable Santa stamps....had to have them!
I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to start hosting Christmas events and decorating, but I'm just so excited this year, so I'm going for it! I started decorating, AND have been making some updates to my dining room, so it's been exciting to decorate a fresh space for the first time and I couldn't wait to host the girls!
Of course, after I invited my guests, they all offered to bring something, so I let my guests take care of all the beverages so I could focus on prepping the cookies and frosting! Oh, and we ended up ordering pizza too. Ha! ;) To prep for the cookie party, I knew I wanted to have plenty of cookies to decorate, so we baked tacky sweaters, gingerbread men, snowmen, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and the state of Texas just for fun! My friend Kaitlyn came over to help me bake the cookies, and they were delish!
Cookie Recipe: We used this recipe that we found on Pinterest, and we were so pleased! Our cookies held their shape, and were super easy to make.
I'm so embarrassed at the amount of sprinkles that were in my pantry...I had an entire box of sprinkles. Let's just say, I didn't need to buy any extra. Ha! When you decorate sugar cookies, it's important to have a thick piping/outlining icing, and a thin filler icing. For the thicker one, I purchased premade pouches for red, green, and white from the store.
For the thinner icing, I made "royal icing" with powdered sugar and milk, then used food coloring to made red and green. I told everyone that I always make cookies with my mom when I go home and she always wants to make BLUE icing and I'm like "Ma, nothing is blue." so thennn everyone wanted blue icing! So I made a thick and a thin batch of blue royal icing and I ended up using a lot of it! Ha! Icing tip: for the thin icing, I use condiment bottles, but I prefer a frosting bag for the thicker icing.
My Icing Recipe:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup whole milk (but really, any milk, or water will work)
start with those amounts and add more milk or powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
then separate your batch of white icing into different bowls and add food coloring for your different colors
then pour/spoon icing into piping bags and twist tie/rubber band the opening at the top.
then cut a SMALL piece of the pointed tip of the bag- you can always cut a larger hole if needed, but start small. (the thinner the icing, the smaller the hole!)
this recipe and post provide a little more of an explanation and a more in depth method using merengue powder, and I have used that in the past, but I usually prefer to keep it simple. this recipe also shows icing tips on the piping bags, but I'm not about that life ;)
In the past, for our "place settings," I've used plates, paper plates, paper towels... everything works well, but it's always fun to have a little personalized work station, so I used butcher paper here and a gold calligraphy paint pen to write place cards which tied in to the gold lettering I did on the Papyrus invitation envelopes!
My group was so sweet this year! Once we sat down, everyone busted out their phone to look for Pinterest inspiration for their cookies! Haha! We definitely had some talent! It was such a relaxing night to make something with our hands, catch up with friends, and enjoy some cookies and hot chocolate. If you're looking for an easy way to host an event or get people together without having to host a huge party, a cookie night is a great idea and easy to execute!